City, contractor trying to mitigate flooding as storm water line work continues in Savannah

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 7:06 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The past few rainy nights in Savannah are highlighting how vital storm water pipes are, even more so when they aren’t working.

Happening now, repair work is underway on the Bolton Street Brickline, which is a massive, 150-year old storm water line.

This closed drainage line caused flooding.

Water can’t flow through the storm water line while the work is going on - for the next 10 days or so - until the repairs are made.

The city tried to schedule the work for a historically drier period of the year, but heavy rain this week - both Wednesday and Thursday - left standing water on the streets surrounding the storm water line work, some of it even going into homes and businesses.

“We have a homeowner who’s lost his air conditioning. As of right now, we have a business who has lost his main...his income. He has lost his income, and it’s going to cost him money. We’ve lost our income," said Virginia Mobley, looking toward her business on the corner of East Waldburg and East Broad Street.

At Thursday’s Savannah City Council work shop, Savannah’s Chief Development Office, Heath Lloyd, briefed the room on the flooding issues.

“When rain happens and we’re trying to do a rehab, you can’t flood out that line, and so we have put some things in place, and that’s why yesterday, the flooding appeared to be worse than normal. It has everything to do with us rehabbing that 102-inch storm line,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd stressed the 150-year old storm line needs to be repaired though, to keep even bigger problems from happening.

“The risk for not doing to the work now exceeds any inconveniences, and I certainly know, I want to say this, that the citizens and the businesses don’t necessarily see that, but when you talk about the size of a 102-inch storm water line and the magnitude or the volume of water that it takes, if that line were to have a failure, where we would now either have to go in and do a very significant repair, or we could not repair it, that would be a major inconvenience.”

Lloyd said for the record, they do understand and appreciate the inconveniences.

We received this statement from the City of Savannah on Friday:

“The City of Savannah is monitoring the structural flooding in and around Bolton Street. Lanzo is the contractor on the project and assumes ALL liability should damages be incurred by any homeowners and/or business owners. The city is working closely with them to assist in any way we can, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the contractor.”

WTOC spoke with Paul McClure with Lanzo Companies, the firm leading the storm water line rehab.

McClure said he met with the residents and business owners affected by the flooding, and Lanzo Companies is paying to have SERVPRO come in and clean up the water damage.

McClure added they are also putting a couple with water damage in a hotel until repairs are made to their home.

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